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Psalm 16 - Encouragement From God When You Are Unsure - Part One

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Keep me safe, O God,   for I have come to you for refuge. I said to the Lord, "You are my Master!   Every good thing I have comes from you." The godly people in the land   are my true heroes!   I take pleasure in them!   Troubles multiply for those who chase after other  g ods.   I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood   or even speak the names of their gods.  - Psalm 16: 1-4 (NLT)

The Christian walk through this world is rarely smooth. We can do the right things. Say the right prayers. Attend church and serve in ministries only to find our lives in just as much chaos as anyone who does not share our beliefs. David himself lamented to God about why it seems the wicked prosper. The Prophet Elijah gave up, sitting alone in a cave, and asked God to take his life. Peter had to live with his denials of Christ. Paul had to live with his former life presiding over the deaths of Christians. No one is immune to what we all must go through in this life. Loved ones pass away unexpectedly. We find ourselves in periods of unemployment. We find ourselves with more questions than answers. The Christianisms we all employ start to ring hollow in light of the realities of everyday life. We become unsure. As I searched Scripture today to find a verse to exposit to bring some encouragement to myself and those that may feel similarly, God instead led me to Psalm 16, often referred to by commentators as The Golden Psalm. After reading it I understand that name. It is indeed a treasure from God to us when we are down. It is a light in our storm when we might feel unsure. It is a reminder from God as to exactly who it is that we serve and why we serve him. Today we will start with the first four verses and hear what sayeth the Lord.

The Psalm begins in verse one reminding us of why we came to God and what He will do for as as His child. Realize that this Psalm is written by David when he was on the run from King Saul. He has already had great success through God in slaying Goliath. He has already been anointed by Samuel to be king one day. He has the promise from God but the deliverance has yet to arrive. Likewise in our walks we too have seen God move mightily in our lives. We have seen God slay the giants that once threatened us. We too have the promises of God in our heart but it seems when we look around the deliverance of those promises seem as far away as they must have to David wandering in the wilderness. And why was David in such a predicament? It certainly was not of his own doing. He had only served King Saul and yet he finds himself cast out and hunted for his loyalty. Like Joseph betrayed into prison for a decade for something he did not do, David is a wanted man only for doing what is right. We might relate to David here. We might relate too well. We too might feel as if we had done everything right only to be cast out. We may feel as if we followed the rules and played the game fairly only to seemingly be punished for it. That is the cruel taskmaster life can be sometimes. 

But David here reminds us that it is OK to ask God to protect us! Keep me safe O God! Wherever this writing finds you it is OK to cry out to God right now and simply ask that He keep you safe! Not that He will ever forget but so that we do not. Because when things are all wrong in our lives it is too easy to lose sight of God because we are too busy looking at our problems instead of our problem solver! When Peter looked to Jesus he could walk on water but when he saw the wind all around him he began to sink. We can do likewise in our lives too. As long as we are looking at all of our problems instead of Jesus, we too can sink in those problems. 

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted.  - Matthew 14: 30 (NLT)

Save me Lord! Keep me safe, O God! For I have come to You for refuge! The dictionary defines refuge as a place of shelter or protection from danger and trouble. Over 400 years before David wrote Psalm 16, Moses wrote Psalm 91:

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High   will find rest in the shadow of the  a lmighty. This I declare about the Lord:   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;   he is my God, and I trust him.  - Psalm 91: 1-2 (NLT)

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